In the spirit of it being beach body season and UFC 174 coming to Vancouver June 14th, we have a special guest post from Simona Marian. Simona is a local entrepreneur who’s turned to Mixed Martial Art (MMA) for staying in shape and improving both her mental and physical stamina.
How I got into MMA
Fitness and a healthy lifestyle has always been a big part of my life. I reached a point where I was able to host a fitness related TV show (Empowered Health on Vancouver Sun) and I felt this is the highest limit I can reach and there is nothing more to learn.
It is a well-known fact that once you do something your body adapts to it and you got to keep changing up in order to keep pushing yourself to different levels.
I am also going to tell you something I am not proud of. In that short period of time, when I start getting a little bit of “success”, I developed that ego that I am too good to go out and learn more. I stopped renewing my reasons and my motivations.
After awhile my regular gym routine became boring and my motivation level went down while performing the same every day routine. I’ve always been that type of person that no matter where I am in life I know that there is something more to learn.
At that point I said, “do I want to wait for the new challenge or do I want to get out and create it?”
Being a UFC huge fan, I loved watching fights, especially women’s fights.
One day, I realized that I do not want to watch the events from the couch anymore and it is time to swap my aerobic classes for some MMA training sessions.
My first day in an MMA gym, I went and I started absorbing and learning like I was 15 years old again. It was amazing, exhausting, and it was fun. It takes every ounce of your energy. I did not even notice how hard I was working. I’ve met some amazing people and the best part was in the end when the trainer told me “you burned more than 1000 calories in only one hour”. The workout was the best I’ve ever had.
The 4 big benefits of MMA workouts
1. You will get more stamina & confidence while learning some self-defence skills.
If you are an active person and you need a lot of stamina MMA type workouts are perfect for you. You will also build a lot of confidence and this transfers to the other aspects of your life not only during the training sessions.
You will learn that MMA can do more than a workout or entertain. You will also learn self defence skills that one day can save your life.
2. You will improve focus, coordination, strength, cardiovascular health and endurance.
Core strengthening moves, kicking drills, and upper and lower body training create a form of high intensity interval training. In this sport, practice and perseverance is key. You will fail many times before any success is achieved.
3. You will learn some skills that can lead you to a career.
A few professions could benefit from MMA training like: police officer, club bouncer, bodyguard, military soldier, and actors and stunt performers.
If you are an actor or “want to be” actor, learning MMA can lead you to a stunt performer career and your acting resume will look much better if you are adding some extra skills.
4. Release stress big time.
This type of aggressive and intensive exercise can shed stress and the negativity from your day to day life. Fighting back and kicking and punching can be very therapeutic and gives you that sense of empowerment. Within a few weeks I felt calmer and I got a whole new understanding on life.
– Is it a violent sport?
No. It is a very peaceful environment. MMA training is for people who want to grow both physically and mentally in a non-combat environment. Children can benefit a lot from that type of training while understanding that physical violence is not the answer. The violence is just an expression of the anger.
– Is it a man only sport?
Not at all, this is just a myth. The sport is immensely popular and more and more women are getting involved. If you look at the live events, the tickets are sold within minutes.
Look at the biggest female star in the UFC, Ronda Rousey. Her fan base is huge and it grows every day. I’ve met women in the gym that have PHDs, are lawyers, and have professional careers. That tells me that the most successful people in the world know there is always another level and that inspires me a lot.
– Do I need to go to a regular gym, get in shape first, and then join MMA after?
No! MMA training will get you in shape.
MMA training is an amazing high intensity fat burning workout. Also, the diet of a person plays a huge role. Self control and restraint is a huge part of that training. It is a very simple thing. If you overeat you cannot train! Try it once and you will see what I mean.
If you want to start MMA training, get educated and learn more about the sport. You can do your own research as there are tons of free resources from library books to internet tutorials. Watch fights and go out and do it. Also, find a good mentor and maybe sign for a free class.
Due to the nature of my job and career, I travel a lot and I always carry with me my fitness DVD collection.
Recently I discovered the UFC Fit program. I love it and I recommend you to try it. They also have a nutrition program designed for MMA training. When I do not have time to go to the gym I hit play and I have a personal trainer at home. You will love it!
John Ruskin, the English writer said: “Quality is never an accident, it is always the result of an intelligent effort” – I totally believe in that!
The problem is, sometimes you do not know what an intelligent effort is or what to do to get the best results. For me going to a regular gym was just effort. While learning and performing MMA training, I feel like I reached the next level and feel like I am doing an intelligent effort that will give me real long lasting results.